THAILAND – Taiwanese bioplasics compounder and equipment supplier Minima Technology Co Ltd and Thai Plastic Bag Industries Co Ltd (TPBI), one of Thailand’s largest plastic film manufacturers, are establishing a joint venture for bioplastics production in Thailand.
As majority shareholder in the joint venture – named Minima (Thailand) Co Ltd - TPBI will provide a blown film line in one of its factories for the joint venture’s production usage. Meanwhile, Minima will supply the joint venture with PLA resin and other bioplastics from its compounding factory in Taiwan.
Minima Thailand will start by producing paper coffee cups using a biodegradable plastic film line, with plans for other bio-based plastic product launches in the future, including thermoformed meat trays and injection molded cutlery.
The partners believe there are opportunities in exporting bioplastic products and developing the Southeast Asian market. In addition, plans by other companies to set up biopolymer resin plants in Thailand could provide the partners with a longer term advantage.
Explaining that the joint venture may also set up its own separate compounding line in Thailand in the future, Huang Chien Ming, founded and director of Minima, said, “We think it will be a very good business here (in Thailand) because in the near future, after 2015, we can have all the materials derived from the local producers, and at that time we will make some compounds here.
“We will set up the compounding system before they (other companies) start to supply the resin here.”
In particular for Minima - which was established in 2000 - this joint venture will give the Taiwanese company access to the ASEAN free-trade zone of 10 Southeast Asian countries because Thailand is a member while Taiwan is not, explained Esmy Huang, Minima’s vice president.
Somsak Borrisuttanakal, TBPI’s managing director as well as managing director of the joint venture, also noted that Minima's long background in the bioplastics industry will help identify and develop opportunities in the local market, and help to improve the properties and lower the price of bioplastic resin, a key requirement in the Thai market.